While tough economic times are never desirable, they sometimes have a silver lining. In the case of last year’s high inflation and fears of an impending recession, that silver lining may be a substantial increase in the number of Americans seeking to improve their financial literacy. The Financial Planning Association reports that the number of people attending their financial literacy workshops tripled in 2022. FPA, a professional organization for certified financial planners, offers pro bono assistance to many people seeking help managing their finances.
In 2021, more than 11,000 individuals in the United States received FPA pro bono financial literacy and planning assistance, making the tripling of this value in 2022 even more impressive. The number of people receiving FPA pro bono assistance also increased between 2020 and 2021 by 18 percent, showing a continuing trend of more Americans seeking financial literacy.
FPA Partners in Helping Expand Financial Literacy
If you live in a major city, there is likely an FPA chapter near you. In addition to several specific programs, such as for those affected by cancer or those who have served in the military, FPA also connects individuals to financial literacy resources. One excellent resource is the Babson Financial Literacy Project, which is hosted by Babson College. For those engaged in financial literacy education, the Babson Financial Literacy Project includes a Knowledge Center that compiles reports about financial literacy in the United States. The reports are separated by content area, including a separate section for Millenial and Gen-Z issues.
Another partnering resource is the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE). Like the Babson Financial Literacy Project, NEFE focuses primarily on education policy and advocating for financial educators. A unique feature is NEFE’s podcast on such policies, which may interest high school teachers who teach Personal Financial Literacy, Economics, or Government. Financial literacy material for the general public can be found on NEFE’s Partnership Projects webpage. This includes information on financial preparation for disasters and emergencies and life with children with disabilities; the latter was created in partnership with the PACER Center.
For elementary school teachers and parents, FPA partners with Sammy Rabbit, a great source of money management educational material for young children. The website includes free-to-use parent guides and a resource for elementary teachers. For middle and high school teachers, FPA directs educators to more advanced material offered by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), which offers educational material on credit reports, mortgages, and taxes instead of just savings versus spending.
Finally, FPA is also partnered with Jump$tart, which includes a valuable Financial Fridays tool for school districts with embedded financial literacy education standards instead of standalone PLF classes. Financial Fridays is a collection of articles related to finance, economics, and financial literacy. These could be used to supplement an Economics class or Government class, or even used as part of a standalone Personal Financial Literacy class. By offering pro bono financial planning assistance and directing the general public to valuable financial literacy education sources, the Financial Planning Association is helping improve our public’s financial literacy.